Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 79.djvu/621

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
617
THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE

PSM V79 D621 French birth and death rates at the beginning and end of 19th century.png

At the Beginning and End of the Nineteenth Century.

and will be tripled in Great Britain. It should also be remembered that the death rate of those over 4.1 has increased continually, owing mainly to the keeping alive of weakly people at earlier ages.

It seems unlikely that the death rate will ever be considerably smaller than it now is in England, whereas the conditions which have lowered the birth rate seem destined not only to continue but to increase. The physiological limitations will doubtless increase as children grow up who could not be born naturally or be nursed naturally or live through the harsher conditions that formerly obtained. The economic and social causes—the increase and wider diffusion of wealth, prudence and knowledge—will almost surely become more potent.

Dr. Bertillon discusses in detail the causes of the depopulation of France and the measures which he recommends to arrest it. The latter are indeed feeble in comparison with the former, and he puts on his title page the pessimistic motto "Il n'est pas besoin d'espérer pour entrependre ni de réussir pour persévérer." Apart from a moral regeneration leading people to want to do what they can rather than to get what they can, the remedy is in the direction recommended in the book, but requires far more radical measures. Children are no longer a financial asset to their parents, but they are this to the state and to the world; the state must ultimately pay for their birth and. rearing.

 

THE ZOOLOGICAL LABORATORY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA

Four of the leading eastern universities—Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins, Princeton and Yale—have provided new laboratories for their departments of zoology. At the Johns Hopkins the laboratory is part of buildings planned for the whole university on its removal to a new site. At Princeton great buildings have been erected for the natural sciences and for physics, and similar buildings are in course of erection for Yale. The new building at the